02/24/2013

Estate Planning: Lessons Learned From Hector "Macho" Camacho

Hector "Macho" Camacho is best known as a professional boxer who won four World Championship titles during his career and winning fights against Roberto Durán, Sugar Ray Leonard, Julio César Chávez, Félix Trinidad, and Oscar de la Hoya.   In November 2012, Hector "Macho" Camacho was shot outside of a bar in Puerto Rico.  Camacho was pronounced brain dead by doctors.

Even though Camacho was involved in one of the most violent sports, he failed to plan for incapacity.  Camacho did not prepare an Advance Health Care Directive.   An Advance Health Care Directive sets forth your medical wishes, in the event that you are incapacitated and unable to make your own medical decisions.  Since this document did not exist, the decision had to be made by his family.  Unfortunately, there was a disagreement.  His father wanted to remove treatment, but two of his aunts wanted to continue treatment.   This caused the family much pain and anguish in deciding his course of treatment.  It placed an unnecessary burden on his family.  The advantage of an Advance Health Care Directive is that it does not require the family to make the decision, as the decision has already been made by the individual.  By making your wishes known, your family is not forced to guess “what you would have wanted.”  A little planning goes a long way and can prevent a lot of grief within a family.